Thursday, June 19, 2008

Played-Out Karaoke Songs: Are We Done Yet?

I know YOU think they rock... you being the stupid drunken d-bag who anxiously and excitedly hands me your karaoke slip and asks, "has anyone done Journey yet tonight?"

Of course, by "Journey", you mean, "Don't Stop Belivin'", Journey's #1 hit from November 1981. Rarely are other Journey songs performed, which is somewhat remarkable considering their abundant amount of hit songs and rock-radio staples. Which is why I present to you this list of PLAYED-OUT SHIT, and perhaps suggest a few alternatives that will win you freshness and credibility points, as well as the enthusiasm of a crowd who are currently numbing to these over-played classics.

Song: "Don't Stop Believin'"
Artist: Journey

So much has been said and so much more could be said about this song, that it's a waste of time to talk about it here. There was a global energy for this song a few years ago, as Journey began a slight revival in popularity, and so much has happened since (references in Family Guy and The Sopranos, most famously) that the magic is gone. We need to put this baby to bed for a while, so that one day it can return in all it's arena-rock glory.

Suggested alternatives: Any Way You Want It, Lights, Open Arms, Faithfully

Song: "Sweet Caroline"
Artist: Neil Diamond

From now on, it should be a law that you have to sing at least 4 other Neil Diamond songs before you can perform "Sweet Caroline". No other artist is so criminally underrepresented at karaoke nights than ol' Neil. The man has stacks of hit records, yet we are continually subjected to the constant refrains/obligations of answering "so good, so good, so good" that it's hard to get jacked up for it anymore. Special thanks to Angry Mark for keeping it real at the Harvest Moon karaoke nights.

Suggested alternatives: Cracklin' Rosie, I Am... I Said, Song Sung Blue, He Ain't Heavy - He's My Brother.

Song: Anything over 7 minutes long - including: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf, "Piano Man" by Billy Joel, and "American Pie" by Don MacLean.

Unless you are employed professionally as a performance artist (stage, screen, music, or otherwise), it is impossible to hold an audience's attention for more than about five minutes. Anything longer than that is purely self-indulgent, and you will bore everyone to tears.

Suggested alternatives: anything under five minutes in length.

Song: "Baby Got Back"
Artist: Sir Mix-A-Lot

I've yet to see someone perform this in an entertaining fashion, save for the one time a middle-aged white man performed a surreal, Lou Reed-like version at a party several months back. And drunk white girls love getting hyphy to rap songs they know the words to, the problem is, even with the words on the screen in front of them, they flub the delivery through the majority of the song. And rap songs generally don't make for good three-person sing-alongs. I would strongly suggest that if you intend to karaoke a rap song, you practice at least several times a day for three to five months and perform it solo. Otherwise, you look more like an idiot than you already are.

Suggested alternatives: Practice your rapping at home.

Song: "Ice Ice Baby"
Artist: Vanilla Ice

This song isn't funny in an ironic way, nor is it entertaining or fun to listen to. It's painfully stupid. When I watch you sing this with unrelenting enthusiasm along with your "bros" as you swill Coors Light from a plastic bottle, I just want to do the human race a favor, and beat you over the head with a mic stand until you die.

Suggested Alternatives: Death.

Song: "Livin' on a Prayer"
Artist: Bon Jovi

Yes, we live in New Jersey, and I understand that celebrated pop/fluff metal rockers Bon Jovi also hail from this area (Sayreville reprazent), which is why you enjoy them doubly. Surely, they recorded songs other than this one. Why don't you try one sometime? No? That hurts your little brain? Oh. OK, I'm sorry..... "TOMMMY USED TO WORK ON THE DOOOOOOCKS..."

Suggested alternatives: Bad Medicine, Lay Your Hands on Me, You Give Love a Bad Name, Blaze of Glory, Runaway

Idea for this blog post partially jacked from:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

List of Stupid Things People Have Said Whilst I DJ

I really need to start keeping a list of of the stupid things people say to me when I'm DJ'ing. Let's start from this past Saturday.

Date: 5/31
Event: Graduation party, Jersey shore area
What was said:
D-bag: "Yeah, you the DJ? These your CD's?"
Me: "Yessir."
D-bag: "Ok, you think you can play something a little more upbeat? We're about to slit our wrists back here."
Why this is funny:
The song that was playing at the time was Louis Prima's "Jump, Jive 'n Wail". I'm having a hard time picturing despondent goth/emo kids sitting at home, listening to Louis Prima and contemplating suicide.

It's Got What Plants Crave!

A couple years ago, Mike Judge (creator/writer/producer of Beavis & Butt-head and Office Space), released his latest movie, "Idiocracy", to little fanfare (other than the fact that it was "a new movie by the guy who did Office Space). The more I watch this movie, the more I come to realize it's brilliance. [IMDB link]. Basically, Luke Wilson is a low-level military officer who is used in a government experiment which goes awry. He wakes up 500 years in the future to a society where the trailer-trash morons of the world have out-bred the intelligent, and the average IQ has been reduced significantly. There's a lot of social commentary, a lot of which deals with the saturation of advertising in our lives. So one of the problems vexing society in this movie is "the drought". People can't figure out why plants won't grow, even though they irrigate their soil with "Brawndo - The Thirst Mutilator", a sports-energy drink in the style of Gatorade. Brawndo's principal advertising point is "electrolytes", and society has been conditioned to believe that Brawndo is superior to water, as "it's got what plants crave! It's got electrolytes!".

Oh boy, today I see Tiger Woods has his own line of Gatorade product. And what does it have?
25% MORE ELECTROLYTES! I had no idea golfers got so dehyrdated!!! John Daly needs electrolytes, stat!

I guess this is only really funny if you have seen and enjoy the movie Idiocracy. It makes me laugh, but in a way, it's kind of scary. Anyhoo, you can also buy Brawndo now too, from the hysterical Brawndo website. I think I'll just pick up a t-shirt.